12 January 2012



Crocheting on the commuter light rail train has been the spark for many wonderful conversations with strangers. Passengers have told me about crocheting or knitting mothers and grandmothers, sisters and aunts, daughters and cousins, and even an uncle and a grandfather.

Many people don't know what I'm doing.

"Is that knitting?" they might ask.

"Is that tatting?" one curious woman ventured.

"How do you go so fast?" is a frequent comment. Wish I could ride my bike as fast as my fingers can fly!

"How'd you learn to do that?" is another common question.

My grandmother taught me. I was the only one of seven kids who showed an interest, and I'm still to this day the only one in the family crocheting, knitting, sewing, quilting and hoping to learn to tat one day.

"You need to teach someone to do that," one onlooker directed. "This is a dying art. This is a legacy. You need to pass it on."

I'd always known a part of my grandmother lives on because I have something that once was dear to her. But I'm not sure I really put it into legacy perspective until this particular conversation. Somehow, the woman perceived I didn't have children to pass this talent to.

I taught my adopted daughter, but I don't know if she remembers any of it or uses it. As far as I know, my grandmother's craft goes to my grave with me.

Except via this blog, my grandmother's passion doesn't die, really. My blog is not the legacy a parent dreams of leaving to children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren; this is not the traditional way of passing along a family heirloom.

Yet Snowcatcher is a legacy nonetheless. I'm sharing my grandmother's love of thread, crochet, designing and creating, as well as my own passion for snowflakes, and these treasures are going a heck of a lot further than either of my adopted kids may have been able to take them.

Modern technology is helping me bridge the gap and keep alive the pearls of creativity I received from my grandmother.

Ever felt like you were hanging by a thread?


  1. so wonderful to hear about this. I am carrying on my grandmother's strudel making tradition. As one without children, I too can only pass it on in a nontraditional method.

  2. Thank you for sharing :) This post reminded me so much of me! I learned to knit and crochet from my grandmother as well. Her children and the other grandchildren were not interested in any of it either. I'm hoping that at least one of my own children will be interested in keeping these crafts alive! I love your little teddy bears, too :)

  3. I think all you can do is be willing to share it, and you've done and continue to do that. Whether or not it 'takes' is beyond our control.

    I don't know about legacy, but you taught me snowflakes. I'd never made one until I came across your blog. . . . I think I'm hooked. And maybe a little carried away, as my blog for yesterday says. :)

    And those cute little bears! OMG, pretty please share the pattern for those??

  4. Somehow we have to get to gether so I can teach you and my brother (who lives in Colorado Springs) how to tat! I'm just saying.

  5. You have such a talent, especially such tiny detail...my mother used to knit little tiny outfits for my Barbie, mostly but a few things for Ken too! These little bears bring that all flowing back!..I too, like picking up conversations randomly with people...although sometimes it seems Minnesotans keep to themselves, too much. Was not the case growing up in Michigan or even when I lived in St. Louis..very freindly people there!

  6. I loved this post. I actually learned to crochet 40 years ago. My neighbour taught me. I first learned with thread and using a pattern from day one. It was the best method otherwise I would have lost interest. I then taught my mother and sister. My daughter crocheted a couple of shawls and then lost interest. It's just not her thing. I taught my young granddaugthers how to do basic knit and beginning crochet chaining. I am hoping they someday embrace it like me. I do not go one day without crocheting. It is part of me and what relaxes me. I just hope live long enough to make everything I want to make!!

  7. You never know...
    My grandmother taught me to crochet and then I did nothing for years until I was pregnant and wanted to make someting for my baby, so I picked up a book and a hook and retaught myself.
    Now the snowflakes I make (according to and inspired by your patterns) are often commented on. As one of my friends says,"In God's economy nothing is ever wasted." And I do believe that when we are creative - however that may be - we most truly reflect the nature of our Creator.
    So thanks for all the beauty and creativity you pour into our lives.

  8. Grandmothers. Aren't we lucky to have had them in our lives? Those bears are adorable, by the way!

  9. It's so true. We have to thing of legacies differently now.

  10. I learned to crochet from my sister, who also taught me how to knit, sew, and quilt. We learned beading together. Her daughter can knit and sew, but I don't think she crochets - yet. Maybe some day.

    I don't have children either, except all the honorary ones I provided childcare for over the years. So my nieces and nephews and my borrowed kids will have to take up the craft baton if and when they're willing. Like you, I'm passing on my love of craft mostly via blogging. And making some wonderful friends in the process! (Did you feel the virtual elbow digging you in the ribs there?)

    Love that final shot - the bears look like marionettes!

  11. I first learned in Primary for Merrie Miss class, I wasn't very good but I learned the basics and how to read a pattern. Both my Grandmas crocheted so did my Mom, but I never felt I had the talent until we were getting ready to move to Italy in 2006. My paternal Grandmother decided that I needed something to do on the airplane so she handed me some "Mexican" (Omega Nylon) thread, a pattern for a baby dress and booties, a crochet hook and told me to get to work. I'm so glad she insisted because I find myself going crazy if I don't have my "crochet" bag with me. I've ventured onto other patterns and tried different yarns/threads. I'm the only one of 16 grandchildren (8 of us are girls) that crochets. This last year, my middle daughter has been learning how to crochet from her Great-Grandma. What wonderful memories she is creating by going and spending a few hours each week with Grandma! She's learning to crochet, sew, quilt...all the "dieing" arts. I've learned too that crocheting, for me, is a great pain reliever and wonderful way to relax.

  12. So true...I learned to knit and to crochet with my mom and my grandma. I have allways been surrounded by threads and colors....it´s so cool :)

  13. Hi;
    'Pearls of creativity..' ~ very nicely said and what a great post. I have to confess that I learned a lot of these things from my Mother (and her Grandmother) but I just never had the skill, patience, or passion to keep them alive. I'm glad you do. Perhaps you should consider doing a class and spreading this knowledge and good cheer?

    Wonderful post.

  14. Me too - I learned from generations before me. I always love when things are passed from one generation to another. Love the color in the bears image.


Dusty words lying under carpets,
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locked inside, hidden deep from view?
You can talk to me... (Stevie Nicks)

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